Diversity has become a business buzzword in 2019. However, there are also some real, tangible benefits to integrating more diversity into the way that your business operates. In particular, when it comes to recruiting, a more diverse process can produce better results. From a mix of ideas that generates innovation to a happier workforce, more diversity at the recruitment stage can help your business to reap impressive rewards further down the line.
- Set yourself a single benchmark. It’s often useful to start the process of improving diversity by choosing a single metric against which to measure it. Otherwise it may be difficult to tell whether the time and effort that is being invested in improving diversity is really paying off. One of the simplest ways to do this, for example is to monitor the number of women at a specific level or in a particular team.
- Focus on issues of unconscious bias. This is one of the trickiest challenges for most businesses, as the biggest obstacle is identifying where that bias exists in the first place. As far as possible your recruitment process should be free from influencing factors such as gender and race. So, that might mean that the initial stages involve assessing CVs that have had any indicating factors removed so that the choices you’re making are purely on merit, skills and experience and not gender, race or how similar candidates are to the person making the decision.
- Create a strategy to provide a foundation for diversity. A focused strategy is important for any business prioritising a more diverse workforce and will also inform the way that recruitment is carried out. Your diversity strategy should identify the goals and objectives that you have for your business and the steps that are required to achieve them to improve diversity from within. Most strategies will need commitment from all stakeholders in the business, from top level down.
- Tie in workplace policies to your strategy. If you’ve taken the time and trouble to design a diversity strategy for the business it makes sense to ensure that the workplace policies you have in place fit with that too. That could be something as simple as enabling more flexible working that will appeal to candidates with families, as the majority of those with the heaviest care responsibilities tend to be female.
- Look at the way you reach out to candidates. In particular, what do your job adverts say about the business and the kind of person you’re looking at to fulfil a certain role. There is so much that can have an influence here, from the way that the business is described, to its ethos and values, goals for the future and the language that is used to talk about the position being advertised. Try to neutralise the language in job listings so that it’s not designed to appeal to anyone other than someone qualified for, and enthusiastic about, the role.
These are some of the ways that you can improve the diversity of your recruitment process – often with impressive results.